Farmers and producers

Southland farm owners ‘extremely gutted’ by $65k stock theft

[21 May/The Country] Mataura Police say a mystery stock theft of $65,000 has left the victims very upset and have made a public appeal to anyone who might know about the theft. 320 sheep and 8 rams were stolen from a Waimumu farm around Easter. Police say the theft is a significant loss of assets...

Impact of selling farmland for forestry could be ‘catastrophic’

[17 May/Rural News] Craig Little, Wairoa Mayor estimates at least 8000 hectares of sheep and beef farmland have been sold for conversion to wholesale forestry in Hawke’s Bay area in the last four months alone and that this could have a ‘’catastrophic’’ impact on the town. Mr Little shows concern at the loss of jobs...

Protect stopbanks from winter’s wet

[16 May/The Country] Bay of Plenty Regional Council is reminding rural landowners of the requirements to protect the region’s stopbanks from the effects of stock and overgrazing. Rivers and Drainage Asset Manager Kirsty Brown says most farmers and lifestyle block owners know the rules but the importance of maintaining the region’s flood defences can’t be...

Mechanised future for fruit orchards

[15 May/Rural Life] Plant and Food Research (PFR) Scientist Dr Jill Stanley reports that the orchard of the future will be highly digitised, more productive and with fruit grown in a protected environment tended by robots, reducing pressure for labour at peak times. Dr Stanley was the guest speaker at the Alexandra, Clyde and Districts...

Claim armed police raids to seize firearms ‘over the top’

[14 May/The Country] New Zealand Police have been accused of targeting “everyday kiwis” during recent armed raids to seize firearms on South Island Properties. On Thursday, farm manager, Adam Mielnik became the newest subject in this topic. Around lunchtime, eight police cars sped up his driveway and policemen armed with semi-automatics and dogs spread out...

Misconceptions the big issue

[14 May/Farmers Weekly] Federated Farmers Auckland President Andrew Maclean reports that the increasing public profile of farming and misconceptions about it are one of the biggest challenges farm leaders face. Mr Maclean sees moves to change the profile of farmers and the industry but thinks that more young and energetic people need to be placed...

Letting go of ego achieves big environmental gains for Tīrau farmer

[10 May/Stuff NZ] Waikato farm environment Supreme Award Winners Adrian and Pauline Bell believe that farmers need to avoid ego if they want to keep their social licence to operate as they come under increased pressure to reduce their environmental impact. In effect, farmers need to stop thinking they can do anything with the land...

Looking after the people and the land

[08 May/Rural Life] Pencarrow Farm, owned by Tricia and Andy McFarlane has just won five awards in the 2019 Canterbury Ballance Farm Environment Awards for their strong environmental focus. These consist of the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award, the DairyNZ Sustainability and Stewardship Award, the Environment Canterbury Water Quality Award, the Synlait Climate Stewardship Award...

Post-quake farming rejig rolling

[07 May/Farmers Weekly] A new round of Kaikoura earthquake recovery programmes are beginning. It is estimated some farms in North Canterbury, Kaikoura and southern Marlborough lost up to 40% of their usable land in the November 2016 earthquakes and 30 farms have been assessed as severely damaged. Vital infrastructure such as fences, tracks, homes and...

Gun law won’t work

[06 May/Farmers Weekly] Dylan Williams and the Firearm Owners United NZ group report that the gun laws are rushed and the public misinformed by the changes. They believe that the gun licence holders should also be consulted in the process because although the answer seems black and white, they believe that there are better ways...

IHC fundraising calf scheme is on again

[03 May/Farmers Weekly] Organisers of the annual IHC calf and rural fundraising scheme have reached out to farmers to get on board this year after the scheme fell short of its target last season. They managed to raise $650,000 of their $1 million target for people with intellectual disabilities especially those who live in rural...

PGG Wrightson banks seeds sale cash

[02 May/Farmers Weekly] Rodger Findlay, Director and Chairman of PGG Wrightson along with the rest of the new board of directors expect to make a recommendation soon on a capital return to shareholders following the completed sale of the seeds business. The $426 million cash payment has been received from buyer DLF Seeds with PGW...

Labour inspectors visiting Bay of Plenty kiwifruit businesses as harvest peaks

[01 May/Stuff NZ] Labour inspectors are visiting Bay of Plenty kiwifruit orchards this week to make sure workers are being paid at least the minimum wage as well as looking to see employers are keeping accurate and complete records displaying their compliance. Inspectors are from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Labour Inspectorate Regional...

Young Farmers member tackles challenge close to her heart

[30 April/The Country] Isabelle Crawshaw, a 25 year old who lives in Hawke’s Bay has set up Bespoke Events and Marketing, specialising in corporate events for the agricultural sector. Mrs Crawshaw lives with her husband on their 280 hectare sheep and beef farm.  Mrs Crawshaw convened the East Coast regional final of the FMG Young...

Rise in agri-sector confidence expected

[29 April/The Country] The government’s decision to not implement a capital gains tax is expected to increase farmer’s confidence in the agri-sector. The latest Rabobank rural confidence survey released at the beginning of April showed that more of the country’s farmers remain pessimistic than optimistic however, concern over government policy was the major reason given...

Big issues on Rural Women NZ’s agenda

[28 April/The Country] The Rural Women New Zealand are hosting a gathering on 07, 08 and 09 May in Oamaru. Topics on the agenda are four of the main issues concerning rural women: health, education, safety and the environment. The workshops are open to all women with a rural connection and have a variety of...

Farmers welcome dropping of capital gains tax as ‘well-reasoned’ decision

[17 April/Stuff NZ] Federated Farmers has greeted the Government’s rejection of a capital gains tax (CGT). Farmers have campaigned against the CGT on the grounds that it would introduce massive administration costs and put the handbrake on the progress of small and medium businesses. Federated Farmers Spokesperson Andrew Hoggard reported that they were also pleased...

Mentoring takes farmers further

[16 April/Farmers Weekly] Extension 350 (E350), a five year farmer extension project in Northland is nearly halfway complete with benefits starting to show. Private farm consultants act as group facilitators and counsellors as well as delivering their one-on-one advice and skills. The project is designed to develop and improve such businesses in performance, well-being and...

Tenure plans alienate farmers

[16 April/Farmers Weekly] The Government has been warned it will be in breach of contract with farmers if it tries to wield greater influence over the management of ecological and biodiversity values on Crown pastoral lease properties. Lobby group the High Country Accord said proposed changes will re-weight property rights but that cannot be done...

Lessons learned: MPI holds public meeting with farmers

[15 April/Rural News] Geoff Gwyn, Mycloplasma bovis response Programme Director spoke in Oamaru last week about the lessons learnt during the response and explained how they will be used in the event of another disease incursion. Mr Gwyn was speaking in Oamaru, as part of a series of farmer and public meetings throughout the country....

Police Minister to farmers: set up your own pest-control business

 [09 April/The Country] Stuart Nash, Police Minister states that farmers could continue to use their soon-to-be-banned firearms for pest control if they got together and set up their own pest control business. The Arms Amendment bill plans to ban military-style semi-automatics and assault rifles with some exemptions. Federated Farmers supported the intent of the bill...

Taking guns from farmers and making them use contractors ‘completely illogical’

[09 April/Stuff NZ] Federated Farmers have announced that stripping farmers of their semi-automatic weapons and forcing them to use contractors for pest control is completely illogical. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stated that proposed legislation has tried to anticipate the legitimate needs of farmers. On Monday, the Finance and Expenditure Committee released its report on a...

Police freeze $11m of assets in alleged tax fraud; Gisborne farmers say ‘we’ve done nothing wrong’

 [06 April/The Country] Gisborne farmers John and Margaret Bracken have had $11 million of assets restrained by police, including their $7 million farm. An investigation conducted by the Police and the Inland Revenue Department, has allegedly found the pair to have been involved in GST fraud. This has been to value of $16 million over...

A lesson in clean dairying from two Waikato farmers

 [05 April/Stuff NZ] Dairy farmers, Alistair Johnson and Tony and Fran Allcock state that being an effluent dairy farmer is about pride and attitude. Acknowledging the potentially harmful cow muck is properly contained gives them peace of mind after spending thousands on upgrades for new systems on their respective farms near Te Awamutu and Te...